We prefer a fake tan to the real thing any day. Not only is it healthier for our skin but it’s easier to control and ensure you get a nice even glow from top to toe. To help us achieve the perfect tan, we’ve teamed with Emma Kotch, fake tan expert at St Tropez, to advise how you can get that summer feeling all year long with flawless application.

Preparing for a tan

When applying makeup, you need to start with a clean, smooth canvas, and it’s exactly the same principle when it comes to tanning. My top tips to prepare your skin before you tan are:

  1. Ensure you have removed any tan left over from your last application. I’d generally recommend using a gentle body polish on the fourth or fifth day of the tan. If you feel that you’ve got a large amount of build-up, have a bath with some oil. As you soak, the oil will soften your skin and therefore the tan. Use an exfoliator if necessary by gently rubbing the product into your skin in circular motions to remove any build up in colour.
  2.  If you’re waxing or shaving, ensure this is carried out 24 hours before tanning so that the skin has calmed and any wax has been removed.
  3. Exfoliate the night before a tan to remove any dead skin cells. I love the St.Tropez Prep & Maintain Body Polish for this – it’s an oil free exfoliator that creates a smooth and even skin base ideal for your tan to be applied onto. Pay special attention to your hands, elbows, knees and feet as these dry areas tend to absorb tan the most.
  4. Always remove deodorant, makeup and perfume pre-tan.

Fake tan

Perfect Product Application

  1. Add a light layer of moisturiser to your hands, elbows, knees and feet to stop any tan from sticking.
  2. Apply the product using an applicator mitt to ensure an even, streak-free finish without leaving the palms of your hands bronzed as well. Sweeping motions are better than circular motions as they distribute product more evenly. Start from your legs and work your way up your body until each limb is done.
  3. When tanning your hands and feet, don’t add any additional product to the tanning mitt – just use the residue from the body application, as this will be enough. Put your hands in a claw and sweep the mitt over, then sweep around the feet in the shape of a sports sock and finish.
  4. Take a wipe and remove any product from your palms, nails and in-between your fingers. You may want to buff some moisturiser to your inner wrist to blend the colour from your palm and forearm.

Maintaining your glow

The trick to maintaining a tan is moisturiser. It’s crucial to remember to use one every day to keep the tan hydrated and help ensure an even fade. Ensure it doesn’t contain essential oils, as this will lift the tan and make it fade more quickly. Alternatively, try switching your usual moisturiser for a Gradual Tanner and apply 2-3 times a week to keep your golden glow lasting for longer- it creates a buildable glow plus long-term toning results, the Gradual Tan Plus Sculpt & Glow Everyday Multi-Active Toning Body Lotion and has become a staple part of my morning beauty regimen.

Self-Tanning streaks

With the right preparation and application this shouldn’t happen to you, however if it does, do not panic and immediately reach for the scrub as you may end up taking the tan off in patches. Instead, mix a light body polish with an oil and apply to the problem areas as this will help to ensure an even fade all over. Repeat this a few times until you are happy with the end result. If you’re rushing out the door and don’t have time to do this, use an Instant Tan to even out the skin tone instead. Finally, try using the St.Tropez Tan Build Up Remover Mitt. To correct tanning mistakes, dampen skin then use your index finger inside the mitt and apply to the affected area.

Images supplied by St Tropez

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